I'll See You in My Dreams (2015 film)

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I'll See You in My Dreams
I'll See You In My Dreams (2015 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Brett Haley
Produced by
Written by Brett Haley
Marc Basch
Starring
Music by Keegan DeWitt
Cinematography Rob C. Givens
Edited by Brett Haley
Production
company
Distributed by Bleecker Street
Release date
  • January 27, 2015 (2015-01-27) (Sundance)
  • May 15, 2015 (2015-05-15) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $7.5 million[2]

I'll See You in My Dreams is a 2015 U.S. comedy-drama film directed by Brett Haley, produced by Rebecca Green, Brett Haley, and Laura D. Smith, and written by Brett Haley and Marc Basch. The film stars Blythe Danner, Martin Starr, Sam Elliott, Malin Åkerman, June Squibb, Rhea Perlman, and Mary Kay Place. The film was released on May 15, 2015, in a limited release by Bleecker Street.[3]

Plot[edit]

Widow and former songstress Carol Petersen lives alone in California with her dog, Hazel. Her life is very routine, especially since she has not had a serious relationship in the twenty years since her husband has died and has no desire to begin dating or marrying again. She has no grandchildren, and her only daughter Katherine lives in a different state. One day she is forced to put the elderly dog down, leaving her without her main companion outside of her friends Georgina, Rona, and Sally who all live at a retirement community. After coming home from the appointment, she finds a large rat in her house, which leads her to sleep outside for the night, at which point she meets her new pool boy, Lloyd. Though Lloyd initially offends her by implying that she seemed dead, the two begin an unlikely friendship after Lloyd asks to meet with her as friends.

While looking at vitamins in her local drugstore, Carol meets Bill, who flirts with her before leaving; she is clearly intrigued by him. Later, her friends convince her to go to a speed dating session for senior citizens. Though Carol is uninterested in the men she meets, she later encounters Bill in the parking lot, and he asks her for her number so that he can call her for a date. Carol goes home and calls Lloyd to go to karaoke. Though Lloyd is a mediocre singer, Carol impresses him with her singing ability. They go back to her house, and they discuss "living in the moment," which concerns Lloyd but is something that Carol dismisses. Lloyd reveals that he's not looking forward to anything in his life, and that he feels he has no real prospects outside of the responsibility he feels for his ailing mother.

The next day, Carol gets a message from her daughter Katherine (Kat), who hasn't visited in a while but decided spur of the moment to visit. She also gets a message from Bill, who wants to see her and asks that she meet him at the retirement community where he also lives. She meets with him and he takes her out on his boat, the "So What" - something, he says, he has never done with anyone else. The two quickly connect. Bill tells her that he is originally from Texas, but decided to move to California and buy a boat on a whim, as he did not want to be the sort of retiree who fell into boring, stagnated routines. After dinner, Bill drives her home, and they share a kiss; Bill says that he wants to see her again. Carol is giddy, until she sees the rat again.

Carol begins to open herself up to being more adventurous again, and she and her friends get high, steal a grocery cart after shopping, and evade a curious policeman. When she gets home, she has messages from Katherine, reminding her about her visit, and Bill, wanting to set up another date. After the date, she invites Bill to her home and the two have sex and talk intimately. Bill spends the night and that they are very much taken with one another. Over breakfast, Bill asks Carol if she ever considered marrying again. Carol lightheartedly scoffs and says she hardly knows him. Their conversation is interrupted by a knock at the door. Carol opens it part way to find Lloyd standing there, and he tells her that he quit his job, though he did get a job as a pool cleaner at another business. Carol is obviously reluctant to invite Lloyd in, but Bill, in his T-shirt comes up behind her, introductions are made and Bill invites Lloyd to breakfast. Awkwardly, Lloyd says he just wanted to let Carol know about the new job and leaves.

Bill wants to see Carol again, but she tells him that she has to spend time with Katherine; he says that he'd like to meet her daughter someday, and Carol is noncommittal. They part ways affectionately. Katherine arrives, and notes that Carol seems different, in a good way: she seems more open, positive, and thoughtful. Carol tells her that she is seeing someone, which makes Katherine happy, and Katherine insists that she wants to meet him. However, Carol finds frantic messages from Rona on her answering machine when they get back home; Bill is in the hospital for an unknown condition.

Since only immediate family can see him, Carol is unable to be admitted, though the nurse promises that she will get a call about his condition. Sadly, she soon gets a call that he has died, and grieves that he has died, that she has lost someone again. She asks Katherine why people bother getting attached when death is inevitable, a sentiment she expressed to Lloyd earlier; Katherine points out all the good things that happened because of Carol taking chances and risks; she led a full life, and Carol says all those things are in the past. Kat tells her mother that she isn't in the past, that she is right there with her mother. Carol's grief is palpable, but after her daughter has returned to New York, she once again gets back to the routines of playing golf and cards with her friends. She makes a trip down to where Bill's boat is still moored, and in conversation over cards one of her friends askes about the boat, which Carol says is still there, that there was no one to leave the boat to, and that she'd asked Bill's lawyer if she could have something of Bill's as a keepsake. We don't learn whether there was anything given to her, but one day, as she is at home dusting the items on her fireplace mantel - framed family photos, a large urn (presumably containing her husband's ashes) and a little flower print tin containing her dog's remains - she finds a cellophane-wrapped cigar laying there, the type that Bill always had tucked in his mouth, unlit, an old habit he hadn't quite given up on.

Lloyd comes to visit Carol in his new uniform. The rat appears again and he manages to trap it, and afterwards Carol finally breaks down in tears over losing Bill. Lloyd comforts her and plays for her a poignant song that he wrote, "I'll See You in My Dreams." Later, Carol meets with her friends, and Sally insists that they should all go on a cruise together. Though the other friends are reluctant at first, Carol impulsively agrees, leading the others to join in. The film ends with Carol adopting an elderly dog and driving home with him, taking another chance at love.

Cast[edit]

Marketing[edit]

The official theatrical trailer was released on April 7, 2015.[4]

Release[edit]

I'll See You in My Dreams premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2015,[5] where it was acquired by Bleecker Street.[6] It was released on May 15, 2015 in a limited release.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received largely positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 93%, based on 80 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "I'll See You in My Dreams would be worth watching even if Blythe Danner's central performance was all it had going for it, but this thoughtful drama satisfies on multiple levels."[7] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 75 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]

Accolades[edit]

Award Category Nominee Result
Gotham Independent Film Awards Best Actress Blythe Danner Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress Blythe Danner Nominated
Hollywood Music in Media Awards Song - Feature Film "I'll See You in My Dreams" - written and performed by Keegan DeWitt Pending

References[edit]

External links[edit]